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Author Topic: Should Christians be Vegetarians?  (Read 12401 times) Average Rating: 0
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Marc1152
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« Reply #45 on: June 25, 2009, 11:58:40 AM »

^Sorry your logic is completely off. NO we natives DON'T digest dairy period. Raw or pasteurized, it doesn't matter. In fact it has been proven that as much as 76% of natives tested are positive for lactose intolerance. Do you have any experience in the cultural anthropological study of foods? Europeans do quite well with dairy on the whole. But it has actually also been proven that asian and african peoples do poorly on european cattle based dairy as well as us natives to america. (which is what it typically means when you say "dairy"=cow) There is a native breed of cattle in certain areas of Africa that is well tolerated on the whole. And goat based dairy can be well tolerated in certain ethnic groups where goats are a part of the society. But cow based dairy- raw or not- is not something every ethnic group can eat. And chicken eggs on the whole are not something every ethnic group can eat as well.

Most people when they switch from pasteurized milk to raw milk can tolerate it no matter their ethnicity. It turns out that it is not the lactose that they are having a problem with ( so testing posative  for lactose intolerence is moot)  but rather the lack of digestive enzymes which are destroyed in the process of heating the Milk.

There are several tribes in Africa, such as the Masai who live almost exclusively off their cattle. But you are correct about goats milk. Milk from many different animals are part of the diet of Traditional Peoples. Goats milk taken without pasteurization may be even closer to Human Milk. The point is not a contest between Cow's Milk and other kinds of Milk, it is a struggle against REFINED foods, REfined ( pasturized) Milk in particular. I didnt mean to appear to be only promoting Milk from Cows.

The cultures that don't drink any kind of milk such as Eskimo's get similar benefits from eating much of their food either raw or fermented ( fermentation actually increases enzyme levels and can be looked at as "super raw" food). Other people sometimes use bones to make broth. But diary from goats and cows and sometimes other animals like the Yak is most often a central element in traditional diets . People  who eat this way turn out to be far healthier than we are. No cancer or diabetes or tooth decay..etc.

So while there is undoubtedly certain hereditary elements to how people digest and what is agreeable to them, the far bigger issue is conforming to a Traditional Diet free from processed foods, refinement, canning and pasteurization of Milk. Saturated fat from pastured animals ( eating their natural diet and not the swill fed to them in factory farming) is also a key component to optimum health, not it's enemy. Rather, vegitalbe oils and "low fat" diets  and  processed carbs and sugar are  probably the real culprit to heart disease and obesity and diabetes and many types of cancer
 ( not even to mention dental problems).

  
In fact the sickest I and my brothers have ever been from dairy is when our white mother and white step father tried to switch us to all raw dairy. Raw it is even worse. Our parents did well, we became extremely sick. I can't imagine why anyone would want to eat/consume raw dairy. It tastes like cow. I hate milk and milk products on the whole. I only eat dairy while I am pregnant. Otherwise I can't stomach it. And when I am breastfeeding I can't have even minute traces of dairy or my babies have a horrible colic reaction. Between my husband and I our kids are about half American Indian. The only dairy my kids really get on a regular basis is goat, bison and whatever I make before they are weaned laugh


Hmm.. Who knows, but raw dairy doesn't taste "Like cow" It is sweet and creamy and more like drinking ice cream or sweet butter. But as I said, raw goat's milk is fine and maybe even better. Sometimes having been made sick by a certain food can put you off of it forever... I can relate..Been there.

The reason people  take Raw Milk and Raw Cheese and  Butter is that it restores vitality and nourishes the body in fantastic ways. The Mayo clinic used to give people raw milk as a cure. They would take you in for about four weeks and feed you a diet exclusively of Raw Milk. It cured or greatly improved all kinds of chronic conditions, not the least of which is diabetes.


This is a website that compiles a great deal of books on the anthropological study of diet.

http://lilt.ilstu.edu/rtdirks/


Cool..Thanks.
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« Reply #46 on: June 25, 2009, 12:24:27 PM »

Indulge me for one more point concerning Raw Milk that tastes bad and can't be digested.

The healthier the cow the healthier the milk and meat. The standard is to drink milk from cows that are naturally pastured, eating grass in the spring and summer and hay in the winter. Cow's should be free of all hormones used by the dairy industry to boost milk production.

Milk should also come from Jersey Cows ( and one other type which I forgot the name of) and not the Holsteins used by Big Dairy. Holsteins are used because of their ability to give more milk, but the quality of their milk is inferior.

So if you take Raw Milk from a Jersey Cow that is fed grass and hay and not the dirty swill fed to most dairy cows you will  taste something very nice. Most people who use Raw Milk follow these guidelines. Taking milk raw from a swill fed cow kept in confinement all of it's life, may indeed taste nasty.   
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« Reply #47 on: June 25, 2009, 12:42:13 PM »


It is my understanding that While animals do have a "nous" or spirit they do posses a soul. Bishop Kallistos Ware write about this on page 48 of his book The Orthodox Way. Also see the teaching of St. Theophan the Recluse letter 9 of The Spiritual Life and How to be Attuned to It.


I am sorry I meant to say... It is my understanding that While animals don't have a "nous" or spirit
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« Reply #48 on: June 25, 2009, 01:17:51 PM »


From the Holy Apostles (53)

Quote
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, on the days of feasts will not partake of meat and wine, because he loathes these things, and not on account of asceticism, let him be deposed from office, on the ground that he has his own conscience seared and has become a cause of scandal to many.



I actually loathe wine. Would that be a problem?
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« Reply #49 on: June 25, 2009, 01:37:36 PM »


From the Holy Apostles (53)

Quote
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, on the days of feasts will not partake of meat and wine, because he loathes these things, and not on account of asceticism, let him be deposed from office, on the ground that he has his own conscience seared and has become a cause of scandal to many.



I actually loathe wine. Would that be a problem?

But have you tried a good wine? Here in the US, it is almost nonexistent, save for sky-high prices...
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« Reply #50 on: June 25, 2009, 01:40:12 PM »

I had all the right stuff in the raw milk my parents gave me. This movement is a very old one and my parents tried it already. And raw milk tastes AWFUL. In fact milk of any kind really tastes awful. That layer of cream on the top....ew!
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« Reply #51 on: June 25, 2009, 01:40:43 PM »


From the Holy Apostles (53)

Quote
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, on the days of feasts will not partake of meat and wine, because he loathes these things, and not on account of asceticism, let him be deposed from office, on the ground that he has his own conscience seared and has become a cause of scandal to many.



I actually loathe wine. Would that be a problem?

But have you tried a good wine? Here in the US, it is almost nonexistent, save for sky-high prices...

A nice bottle of Opus.... but alas it's 200 plus dollars lol..
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« Reply #52 on: June 25, 2009, 01:41:16 PM »


From the Holy Apostles (53)

Quote
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, on the days of feasts will not partake of meat and wine, because he loathes these things, and not on account of asceticism, let him be deposed from office, on the ground that he has his own conscience seared and has become a cause of scandal to many.
 

I actually loathe wine. Would that be a problem?

But have you tried a good wine? Here in the US, it is almost nonexistent, save for sky-high prices...  

There are some excellent wines in the sub-$20 range.  And a lot of barely palatable ones is the sub-$100 range.
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« Reply #53 on: June 25, 2009, 01:51:27 PM »

I had all the right stuff in the raw milk my parents gave me. This movement is a very old one and my parents tried it already. And raw milk tastes AWFUL. In fact milk of any kind really tastes awful. That layer of cream on the top....ew!

LoL  .. Fine Smiley

There is a woman in my office who wouldn't use the "Organic" Half and Half in her coffee that was in the refrigerator
( regular old pasteurized Half and Half, just minus the hormones and chemicals).. She said it tastes bad to her. I guess you get used to what you are familiar with, she needed the taste of hormone and swill in her half and half to be happy.

Real Milk for ages and ages was not homogenized. The cream rises to the top. If you or your parents are old enough ( over 70 or maybe even younger) they will remember that all milk came that way. It's usually a sign of being Farm Fresh. If fresh and chemical free makes you vomit.... I guess there is nothing you can do about it  Wink
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« Reply #54 on: June 25, 2009, 01:54:43 PM »


From the Holy Apostles (53)

Quote
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, on the days of feasts will not partake of meat and wine, because he loathes these things, and not on account of asceticism, let him be deposed from office, on the ground that he has his own conscience seared and has become a cause of scandal to many.
 

I actually loathe wine. Would that be a problem?

But have you tried a good wine? Here in the US, it is almost nonexistent, save for sky-high prices...  

There are some excellent wines in the sub-$20 range.  And a lot of barely palatable ones is the sub-$100 range.

Well, depends on what's your standard of excellence. Smiley

But I agree, I exaggerasted a bit. Smiley
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« Reply #55 on: June 25, 2009, 01:57:32 PM »


From the Holy Apostles (53)

Quote
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, on the days of feasts will not partake of meat and wine, because he loathes these things, and not on account of asceticism, let him be deposed from office, on the ground that he has his own conscience seared and has become a cause of scandal to many.
 

I actually loathe wine. Would that be a problem?

But have you tried a good wine? Here in the US, it is almost nonexistent, save for sky-high prices...  

There are some excellent wines in the sub-$20 range.  And a lot of barely palatable ones is the sub-$100 range.
As long as it isn't red wine, there are good wines out there that don't cost a lot... I agree.
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« Reply #56 on: June 25, 2009, 01:58:36 PM »

Julio Gallo?
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« Reply #57 on: June 25, 2009, 01:58:48 PM »

Well, depends on what's your standard of excellence. Smiley

Well, I don't claim to be a connoisseur, so consider my taste biased!
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« Reply #58 on: June 25, 2009, 02:00:03 PM »

All cow milk- raw or not makes me want to vomit. I can't imagine why anyone would want to consume it. Goat milk is different, I can deal with that. If they use proper washing techniques then it is quite good. But cow milk tastes like cow. YUCK!
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« Reply #59 on: June 25, 2009, 02:14:30 PM »

There are some excellent wines in the sub-$20 range.  And a lot of barely palatable ones is the sub-$100 range.

I'm used to $4-$5 range and they're OK. How easy was the life of high-schooler Wink

There is a woman in my office who wouldn't use the "Organic" Half and Half in her coffee that was in the refrigerator
( regular old pasteurized Half and Half, just minus the hormones and chemicals).. She said it tastes bad to her. I guess you get used to what you are familiar with, she needed the taste of hormone and swill in her half and half to be happy.

God created coffee black and it shall not to be profaned with milk Cheesy

All cow milk- raw or not makes me want to vomit. I can't imagine why anyone would want to consume it. Goat milk is different, I can deal with that. If they use proper washing techniques then it is quite good. But cow milk tastes like cow. YUCK!

I also do not like the taste of raw cow milk but I really like buttermilk and yogurt. I've tasted goat milk only once and didn't like it also. On the other hand I  like goat cheese.
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« Reply #60 on: June 25, 2009, 02:29:26 PM »

I hear Kangeroo milk is pretty good...for Kangeroos. Shocked
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« Reply #61 on: June 25, 2009, 02:37:20 PM »

Julio Gallo?

Rough... My fav is Haute Medoc 1990. But of course I can't afford to drink it regularly. Sad

Of whites, - some Napa Valley Chardonnays are good.

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« Reply #62 on: June 25, 2009, 02:42:11 PM »


As far as the notion that all things are clean... Would you eat a cockroach? Would you eat meat with maggots coming out of it? Sorry to be so gross, but it makes my point. It is silly to think that all animals and creatures are literally clean and fit to eat.

Selam

According to tradition St. John the Forerunner ate crickets with honey.
I'm not so sure of that.  The locusts that St. John ate may also have been plant material, since many plants (mainly trees) are also known as locusts.  However, I understand that grasshoppers and their close kin are good eating in their own right, not that I've ever put this to the test personally.
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« Reply #63 on: June 25, 2009, 02:43:04 PM »

I don't think it's wrong in principle to eat meat, but I do think it's wrong to mistreat the animals whose bodies provide that meat.  I think that Christians should insist that those animals be treated kindly and humanely.

I recently became a vegan primarily because of what I have read about "factory farming".  As it is currently practiced, unfortunately the animals do not seem to be treated very humanely, and the laws enacted requiring the animals' deaths to be as painless as possible may not always be followed.  

And if you don't care about the suffering of the animals, consider the suffering of the human beings who work in the slaughterhouses.  It's an extremely high stress job.  Imagine spending 8+ hours a day killing living creatures.  Even if the killings were as humane as possible, you have to know that takes a toll on people.

And FWIW I don't believe the hooey some Vegetarians put forth that Jesus was a vegetarian - obviously He at least ate fish.  However, I don't think "the Lamb of God" would approve of the way animals (including lambs!) are treated in the "factory farm" system.
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« Reply #64 on: June 25, 2009, 02:45:48 PM »

Julio Gallo?

Rough... My fav is Haute Medoc 1990. But of course I can't afford to drink it regularly. Sad

Of whites, - some Napa Valley Chardonnays are good.


Well... we were talking about inexpensive wine, afterall Roll Eyes

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« Reply #65 on: June 25, 2009, 02:48:15 PM »

Meat eating was not God's original plan for man. He allowed Noah and his family to eat meat because the flood had temporarily destroyed all vegetation.
That's an interesting (novel?) interpretation of Scripture.  How'd you come up with that?
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« Reply #66 on: June 25, 2009, 02:50:29 PM »

Watch Food, Inc., and be shocked! Shocked

Quote
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.

Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.
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« Reply #67 on: June 25, 2009, 02:56:10 PM »

Meat eating was not God's original plan for man. He allowed Noah and his family to eat meat because the flood had temporarily destroyed all vegetation.
That's an interesting (novel?) interpretation of Scripture.  How'd you come up with that?

Genesis 1:

Quote
29And God said, Behold, I have given you [humans, i.e.] every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
But, then, after the Flood:

Genesis 9:

Quote
1And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

 2And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

 3Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

It seems that because Noah saved the animals, Noah and humanity could now be allowed to eat the animals. I admit to not having heard before, the idea that Noah and humanity were allowed to eat meat, because all the vegetation was wiped out. Surely, there must have been some sea-weed somewhere.
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« Reply #68 on: June 25, 2009, 03:03:53 PM »


As far as the notion that all things are clean... Would you eat a cockroach? Would you eat meat with maggots coming out of it? Sorry to be so gross, but it makes my point. It is silly to think that all animals and creatures are literally clean and fit to eat.

Selam

According to tradition St. John the Forerunner ate crickets with honey.
I'm not so sure of that.  The locusts that St. John ate may also have been plant material, since many plants (mainly trees) are also known as locusts.  However, I understand that grasshoppers and their close kin are good eating in their own right, not that I've ever put this to the test personally.

In all Polish translations the word what describes that insects is used.
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« Reply #69 on: June 25, 2009, 03:09:15 PM »

All cow milk- raw or not makes me want to vomit. I can't imagine why anyone would want to consume it. Goat milk is different, I can deal with that. If they use proper washing techniques then it is quite good. But cow milk tastes like cow. YUCK!

I once saw a Hindu guy on TV who liked to drink urine...

To each his own...

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« Reply #70 on: June 25, 2009, 03:13:50 PM »

I hear Kangeroo milk is pretty good...for Kangeroos. Shocked

Baby Cows die when the are fed Pasturized Milk...

In Lapp Land they milk their Reindeer.

Milk is the only substance specifically created as food.
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« Reply #71 on: June 25, 2009, 03:15:06 PM »

All cow milk- raw or not makes me want to vomit. I can't imagine why anyone would want to consume it. Goat milk is different, I can deal with that. If they use proper washing techniques then it is quite good. But cow milk tastes like cow. YUCK!

I once saw a Hindu guy on TV who liked to drink urine...

To each his own...

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« Reply #72 on: June 25, 2009, 03:47:39 PM »

Actually we need to take into account what ethnicity we are in regards to how we eat. If you are a certain ethnicity you should find out what your ancestors traditionally ate and try to eat similarly. I don't mean that "cave man diet" that is popular where you eat tons of meat. What I mean is that eating what your family ancestors would have traditionally ate is healthiest.  Scandinavians tend to need to eat more of certain types of fish whereas American Indians tend to need to avoid dairy nearly as a whole. There is no one healthy diet for every ethnic group. Asian cultures can do really well on alot of rice. But other ethnic groups tend to do poorly on a high rice diet. Let's say your family is from Greece- you would do well on a more Mediterranean diet. All this to say- "good foods" for a person depends upon what their ethnic background is. Where your family came from determines what they could eat for generations. And what you family did well eating for generations is what you will do well eating. So native foods to where your family is from are the best foods to eat. Certain cultures had to depend a great deal on meat- think Alaska, because they had to eat what was available to them. Certain other cultures depended almost exclusively on foraging plant foods with the occasional supplement of meat.

Quinault,

While I agree with your logic to a degree, I think it depends on the individual. You have stated that you and your children are 50% Native American. Therefore, it's quite obvious to see what the dominant genes/ethnicity are in your family, and why dairy is a problem for you.

The problem with your arguement is that the United States (in particular) is in many ways is a great gene pool experiment. You have ethnicities mixing, blending, and breeding in ways never seen before.

Take my lineage for example:

I am Ukrainian and Hungarian on my father's side, and (hold on to your hat) Irish, English, Welsh, Scotch, French, and German on my mother's. Now while it is true that I am completely of European descent, there are several races mixing in there. (Gaul, Gaelic, Anglo-Saxon, Caucasian, etc.)

In my extended family, the blending continues as I have members of my family that are Dominican, Korean, and Russian Jew.

So for an individual like myself, eating what my ancestors ate may be a little difficult to decipher. I suppose it would be a dish of cabbage with potatoes drenched in butter with some lamb, kielbasa, black pudding, a side of scones and a glass of wine. (I feel bloated and full just reading that! lol)

The bottom line in all of this is that an Orthodox Christian should consult with his/her primary care physician and his/her Spiritual Father before making any decisions about his/her diet.

God bless,

Maureen
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« Reply #73 on: June 25, 2009, 04:09:05 PM »

Baby Cows die when the are fed Pasturized Milk...
So what?  We're not cows.
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« Reply #74 on: June 25, 2009, 04:46:52 PM »

Being a chef, ex-vegan, and orthodox Christian, I feel I should comment...I eat meat & dairy now for two reasons, 1) being a vegan for five years, my body dropped weight and I developed blood sugar problems. My metabolism was too high and no matter how often I ate, I was protein defficient. When I eat protien my blood sugar normalizes and Sugars/Carbohydrates are converted more slowly. Hence, if I have a beer or a veggie sandwich on an otherwise empty stomach I get the shakes and get weak within 30 minutes. Protein from animal meats help me out tremedously. 2) Being a Christian, All food is blessed by God with a simple prayer. St. Paul touched on all this. 
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« Reply #75 on: June 25, 2009, 04:53:00 PM »

Although, I am a chef and I believe in the best sourced ingredients, possibly even knowing what farm from which your products are raised - its a good thing. I try to uphold these same standards in my restaurants. Animals as all God's creatures should be respected, but some are made for sustaining us. I know that sounds Anthropocentric, but so is Christianity. and yes, I've dispatched chickens and ducks, not deer yet but soon I'm sure since I bought a new rifle. And if I have the blessing of owning a farm one day - like I wish- then I will also have goats and sheep for slaughter and milk.
Hey if you got to eat meat, get to know it. Killing isn't pretty but ironically it gives you a respect for the process of life.
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« Reply #76 on: June 25, 2009, 05:18:30 PM »

Baby Cows die when the are fed Pasturized Milk...
So what?  We're not cows.

I think the lesson is that Pasturization so alters milk that even the Cows cant use it.
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« Reply #77 on: June 25, 2009, 05:18:58 PM »

While I do not hunt (I'm not a very good shot, and there's not much worth hunting in my neck of the woods anyway), I'm a very keen fisherman, and eat whatever I catch (as long as it's not undersize or noxious or otherwise inedible). Whatever must be returned to the water is done so with every effort to not injure or damage the fish. And I do eat meat, lenten periods excepted, of course.  angel

With all the palaver about "meat is bad, fish is good" (we already know that eating fish is OK from the Orthodox perspective because some of the apostles were fishermen, and Christ Himself ate fish, and used fish in several miracles), I'm yet to be convinced (outside of lenten considerations) that there is any moral or ethical difference between eating fish, and eating meat. Like with so many scripture passages, there is more than one meaning, which the Fathers themselves nutted out many centuries ago. The passage I quoted from Acts indeed refers to the acceptance of the Gentiles as children of God, but it also has a more literal meaning: The old Levitical restrictions have now been done away with, and all may eat of whatever plant or critter without fear or shame.

One can choose to be vegetarian - that's a personal decision. But to try to argue that eating meat or animal products goes contrary to the Orthodox faith is, I'm afraid, wide of the mark. The notion may be honorable in intent, but it is as doctrinally futile as the efforts of the Temperance movements of the 19th and 20th centuries, which argued for an absolute prohibition of the consumption of alcohol based on a rather selective interpretation of scripture.

You are correct that the passage from acts is both an analogy regarding the Gentiles as well as a literal statement that eating "unclean" meat will not condemn us spiritually. I often tell people that eating pork won't send you to hell, but you may get to heaven quicker than you had intended. Wink

I tried to make it clear in my original post that I am not arguing that Orthodox must be vegetarians or that eating meat is somehow "unorthodox." I also was clear that I would never advocate the legislation of a vegetarain lifestyle. It's simply a personal decision that I have made based upon my understanding of the Bible, the moral and social implications involved, and my own personal health and well being. And as I originally said, as Christians we should always calculate the consequences of our actions and choices, recognizing how they effect us personally and how they effect others.  

Selam
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« Reply #78 on: June 25, 2009, 05:31:48 PM »

Quote
But I do know that since I have become a vegetarian I have been less easily agitated and felt more at peace with myself.

Gebre- you do make a point about feeling less aggressive though. There are a host of hormones in meat and in dairy. And when you are away from those hormones you actually do feel a big difference. We mess with meat too much in America.


I should add- I was a hardcore VEGAN for years. No meat, leather or anything that came from an animal in anyway shape or form. It is hard to maintain and ultimately it was too unhealthy for me to keep up. I couldn't now with breastfeeding and having all these babies. I have to have meat proteins or my liver starts to fail.

While breastfeeding I can't have;
Cow's milk (and other milk products, including butter, whey and various milk proteins)
Onion
Chocolate
Garlic
Eggs
Peanuts
Walnuts
Citrus fruits
Corn
Soy
Tomatoes
Beet greens
Bok choy
Spinach (very allergic)
Alfalfa (very allergic)
Beets (very allergic)
Carrots (very allergic)
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Chinese cabbage
Collard greens
Garden cress
Horseradish
Kale
Kohlrabi
Mustard greens
Radishes
Rutabaga
Swiss chard
Turnips


So without meat I am pretty limited to what I can actually eat since you aren't supposed to eat more than 1-2 servings of fish a week in my area.

Wow. I can see how that must be tough. What's the reason for the limitations on fish? Does it have to do with how many fish are allowed to be caught by each person and such? I imagine you are not eating canned fish, huh?

Your situation reminds me to say that I clearly understand that some people in certain situations must eat meat. Sometimes it is a matter of survival. I am not one of these PETA freaks who say that killing an animal in order to survive is tantamount to murder. The moral issues I'm concerned about with meat eating center around the big beef and poultry industries that exploit animals and people for financial profit while providing a hormone ridden product to the mass of consumers.

Do whatever you need to take care of your little one! I will pray for a safe pregnancy and safe delivery.  Smiley

Selam
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« Reply #79 on: June 25, 2009, 05:33:53 PM »


As far as the notion that all things are clean... Would you eat a cockroach? Would you eat meat with maggots coming out of it? Sorry to be so gross, but it makes my point. It is silly to think that all animals and creatures are literally clean and fit to eat.

Selam

According to tradition St. John the Forerunner ate crickets with honey.

Locusts and wild honey.... Sounds like a vegetarian to me! Wink

BTW, that's in the Bible too (that he ate locusts and wild honey.)
Selam
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« Reply #80 on: June 25, 2009, 05:38:42 PM »

What of the ancient custom in many, many Christian cultures, of eating meat, especially lamb, at Easter, as a symbol of the Lamb of God who was our sacrifice?

This is our custom in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as well. In fact, I ate a little Lamb with my family at Church after Pascha this year. It's the only time I will eat meat other than fish. But that's just what I do, personally.

Selam
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« Reply #81 on: June 25, 2009, 05:39:32 PM »

People that talk about meat without knowing should watch Earthlings first.
I just opened a new thread about it.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22027.0.html

See you there.
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« Reply #82 on: June 25, 2009, 05:41:35 PM »

From what I know, monks in Mount Athos eat fish only once a week and that's it, no meat. It's a tribute/tradition related to Man's diet before the Fall.

I can't eat any meat either. Not after watching Earthlings. That documentary was a real slap.

Cool.

Tell us more about "Earthlings," and how it influenced your dietary decisons. I'm not familiar with the movie.

Selam
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« Reply #83 on: June 25, 2009, 05:52:53 PM »

Surprised no one has mentioned this, so figured I might as well:

The Early Church did not allow Christians to be vegetarians for any reason other than asceticism. Those who refused to eat meat as a general matter of principal -- since, by so doing, they denied the goodness of God's creation -- were actually anathematized.

Of course, a lot of that had to do with philosophical/theological trends in the Hellenistic world (e.g. Eustathianism, Manicheanism, etc.). Nonetheless, here are two relevant canons:

From the Holy Apostles (51)

Quote
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, or anyone at all on the sacerdotal list, abstains from marriage, or meat, or wine, not as a matter of mortification, but out of an abhorrence thereof, forgetting that all things are exceedingly good, and that God made man male and female, and blasphemously misrepresenting God’s work of creation, either let him mend his ways or let him be deposed from office and expelled from the Church. Let a layman be treated similarly.

From the Holy Apostles (53)

Quote
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, on the days of feasts will not partake of meat and wine, because he loathes these things, and not on account of asceticism, let him be deposed from office, on the ground that he has his own conscience seared and has become a cause of scandal to many.



That's great! Thanks so much for posting this.

Maybe that's why I partake of Lamb with my Christian brothers and sisters after Easter Liturgy. Without thinking about it too much, I just felt like to not partake of the Lamb with my brethren on such a joyous occasion would be self-rightoeus and arrogant. To eat it once a year will not effect my health negatively, and I doubt if the Lamb we are served is raised in inhumane conditions and such.

There's an old Rastafarian saying: "It's not what you do, but why you do it." Of course this cannot be applied to all things, but the general principle is applicable to what the Apostles were teaching here.

Selam
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« Reply #84 on: June 25, 2009, 06:00:56 PM »


From the Holy Apostles (53)

Quote
If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, on the days of feasts will not partake of meat and wine, because he loathes these things, and not on account of asceticism, let him be deposed from office, on the ground that he has his own conscience seared and has become a cause of scandal to many.
 

I actually loathe wine. Would that be a problem?

But have you tried a good wine? Here in the US, it is almost nonexistent, save for sky-high prices...  

There are some excellent wines in the sub-$20 range.  And a lot of barely palatable ones is the sub-$100 range.

On certain occasions we drink something called "Tej" in our Ethiopian Orthodox Church. It is a type of honey wine. It actually tastes like pure honey that has fermented. It's very sweet and very good.

The first time I had it was after our baptism when we were invited back to dine with our Priest. He offered us some, and we didn't know it was fermented! My children were drinking it fast because it was so sweet, but fortunatley they didn't seem to get a buzz from it. I on the other hand did, but only because I had been fasting prior to that.

Selam
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« Reply #85 on: June 25, 2009, 06:07:05 PM »


As far as the notion that all things are clean... Would you eat a cockroach? Would you eat meat with maggots coming out of it? Sorry to be so gross, but it makes my point. It is silly to think that all animals and creatures are literally clean and fit to eat.

Selam

According to tradition St. John the Forerunner ate crickets with honey.
I'm not so sure of that.  The locusts that St. John ate may also have been plant material, since many plants (mainly trees) are also known as locusts.  However, I understand that grasshoppers and their close kin are good eating in their own right, not that I've ever put this to the test personally.

It says in the Bible that John the Baptist ate Locusts. (St. Mark 1:6) Also Leviticus 11:22 states that the Locust was permissible for eating, thus not "unclean."

Selam
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« Reply #86 on: June 25, 2009, 06:11:23 PM »

I don't think it's wrong in principle to eat meat, but I do think it's wrong to mistreat the animals whose bodies provide that meat.  I think that Christians should insist that those animals be treated kindly and humanely.

I recently became a vegan primarily because of what I have read about "factory farming".  As it is currently practiced, unfortunately the animals do not seem to be treated very humanely, and the laws enacted requiring the animals' deaths to be as painless as possible may not always be followed.  

And if you don't care about the suffering of the animals, consider the suffering of the human beings who work in the slaughterhouses.  It's an extremely high stress job.  Imagine spending 8+ hours a day killing living creatures.  Even if the killings were as humane as possible, you have to know that takes a toll on people.

And FWIW I don't believe the hooey some Vegetarians put forth that Jesus was a vegetarian - obviously He at least ate fish.  However, I don't think "the Lamb of God" would approve of the way animals (including lambs!) are treated in the "factory farm" system.

I agree completely with all that you say.

Has anyone seen the movie "Fast Food Nation"? It sounds like a documentary but it's not. Be warned though, it contains some disturbing footage. But it is an excellent insight into the cruel realities of the Beef industry. It stars Greg Kinear, a good actor.

Selam
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« Reply #87 on: June 25, 2009, 06:15:33 PM »

Meat eating was not God's original plan for man. He allowed Noah and his family to eat meat because the flood had temporarily destroyed all vegetation.
That's an interesting (novel?) interpretation of Scripture.  How'd you come up with that?

I didn't know it was a novel interpretation. I didn't come up with it. Adam and Eve didn't eat meat bfore the Fall, because there was no death and meat eating would involve death. After the flood, before the waters dissipated and vegetation was restored, all that could be eaten were animals.

Selam
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« Reply #88 on: June 25, 2009, 06:19:51 PM »

My husband (who's not a Vegan) and I (who am (is? are? laugh) ), were amused that the Epistle at the Liturgy for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist yesterday was the one about "the man who eats meat should not judge the one who eats only vegetables [and vice versa]". 

Very appropriate and timely reminder!  Grin
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« Reply #89 on: June 25, 2009, 06:36:48 PM »

I am a vegetarian (not a Vegan; I eat some fish). There are many reasons that I am a vegetarian, one being that I have suffered two heart attacks and need to live and eat as healthy as possible.

It is quite possible to live a very healthy lifestyle eating almost entirely animal products. The Inuit and the Masai come immediately to mind but there are other groups as well. And it quite possible to suffer heart attacks on a vegan or vegetarian diet. It happens all the time. Your post assumes meat was the cause of your heart attacks. How do you know?

Quote
But I also find good Christian and biblical arguments to support the vegetarian lifestyle.


I think this is a stretch. Whatever value there may be in a particular style of eating, whether it is all meat or all vegetables or somewhere in between, I think the NT goes out of its way not to make the substance (i.e. clean versus unclean) of food and drink a matter of concern. That doesn't mean there are not concerns about food but they generally don't fall into the vegetarian versus meat eating argument.

Besides the vegetarian arguments versus meat eating arguments are basically bogus from a scientific standpoint regarding health. There are only two groups of people in this world, those who eat animal products and those who do not. That is vegans versus animal food eaters. Vegetarians and meat eaters are actually shades of distinctions within the larger group of animal eaters. That is vegetarians and meat eaters differ only in degree not in kind. Vegans however represent a qualitative difference in what they eat nutritionally speaking. In other words there are a number of necessary nutritional items needed in our diets that a vegan can't get without adding some kind of animal product (or supplementation) to his diet.


Quote
Here are a few points to consider:

1. Man was originally created to thrive on a non-meat diet. Meat eating involves death, and prior to the Fall there was no death.

But after the fall many things changed, although gradually. According to a number of the Fathers, there was no sex before the Fall either. The fall was all encompassing and included our food supply. Most of us simply cannot obtain in an adequate manner all the nutrients we need from an exclusively vegan diet. As it is within the Orthodox Church we spend roughly half the year eating a diet that hearkens back to paradise. There might come a day once again where we are all vegans, depending on how you understand certain biblical passages, but that day has yet to arrive.

Quote
2. After the flood meat eating was allowed because all the vegetation had been destroyed. But this was not the ideal diet for man.

Exactly where did you get this interpretation of the relative passages from Genesis?

Quote
3. The Levitical laws give explicit guidelines for what animals could be eaten and how they were to be killed and cooked. (Leviticus 11) During the time of the Law, animal sacrifices were made and portions of the meat were consumed by the people. But again, this was not the ideal diet and life under the Law was not the ideal spiritual condition for man.

4. God in His grace provided a remedy for sin so that man could be restored to perfection and live eternally in an ideal spiritual condition. Since Christ was the final and complete sacrifice for sin (the spotless Lamb), then animals no longer have to be sacrificially slaughtered. Through faith in Him and the redemption of baptism, we can begin to be restored to the ideal spiritual state that Adam and Eve enjoyed prior to the Fall.

We already hearken back to paradise during the numerous fasting times that appear on the calendar. But it is not complete nor physiologically is such a thing possible for most people. What is interesting from a scientific standpoint is that no healthy society has ever been discovered that was exclusively vegan.

Quote
5. In this age of Grace killing animals is not necessary for our atonement, and eating meat is not necessary for our survival. We can (and I would argue should) try as much as possible to return to the lifestyle and diet of man in his pre-fallen state.

Your first point is demonstrably false in terms of physical survival for some people, and at any rate eating meat does not encompass the totality of eating animal foods. And in agricultural production many animals are killed. So whether you eat plants only or eat meat or insects or whathaveyou, many animals died for your sustenance.

Your last point assumes the veracity of your first point. The Church does have us return to the diet of paradise periodically, but in a wise and spiritual manner, not in a way that does not account for our basic physical needs. Vegetarianism is a diet of animal foods. We err when we look at it as if it was a variation of veganism. It is not, it is a variation of animal food eating. The strict fast is the diet of paradise. Any regimen that includes fish, dairy, eggs, etc. is not - no matter if the dietary name suggests something otherwise.

Quote
6. The eating of meat has moral and social ramifications as well as physical ramifications. The amount of feed and grain that it takes to feed one cow could sustain a thousand people, while the beef that the cow will provide might feed a hundred or so. (I can't give the exact stats on this, but I have read them and it is very interesting. I'm sure you can find these stats easily on line.) The point is that meat eating can be a selfish indulgence that actually contributes to the starvation of millions of people around the world. As Christians, we should consider our all of our actions and the effect that they have on our fellow man.

This argument, while seemingly plausible on the surface, is wrong on many levels. First it is simply untrue that by lessening our dependence on livestock that more food would be available to people. 2/3 of the earth's dry surface is not suitable for agriculture and many livestock feed in these areas. Second, the use of livestock, as much a renewable resource as plants, provide many functions well beyond meat. Third, given some of the necessary nutrients that cannot be obtained from a vegan diet, and the many anti-nutrients that are contained in a plant food diet, it is not at all clear that switching to a plant food diet would not further "the starvation of millions..." Fourth, your last statement is simply economically false.

This is already a long post, so I won't flesh out the above or add even further reasons, but I would be happy to do so in subsequent posts.

Quote
7. Although animals are not created in the image of God like human beings, they still deserve compassion and respect. Animals feel pain and suffer, and they should not have to do so unnecessarily. As Christians, we should never abuse animals or cause them to suffer simply to satisfy our indulgences. Chickens, cattle, and pigs often exist in tortuous conditions for the duration of their lives and are then killed in a merciless and painful manner. Even if we choose to eat meat, we should abhor and oppose the cruel and unnecessary treatment of these creatures. Let's remember that they are creatures, and therefore they point to the Creator.

Yes I agree, but with the exception of your last sentence, this is an argument against factory farming, not eating meat per se.

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8. As Christians we should promote peace and refrain from killing. I do not consider hunting or meat eating to be murder. I think that's ridiculous. But I do know that since I have become a vegetarian I have been less easily agitated and felt more at peace with myself. I think that a vegetarian lifestyle will help to promote peace in society, although I would never advocate the legislation of such a diet. It's a personal choice that I encourage others to make themsleves.

I don't know why you are feeling less agitated as a result of your new diet. Maybe it is because you were making poor food choices when you were eating meat and now less so since becoming a vegetarian. Some of the greatest killers to walk this earth have been vegetarians. This is a very poor argument to make from either side of the debate. Peace will be a feature of all societies when the Prince of Peace reigns in every man's heart, no matter what the makeup of their diet.

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Oh yeah, some may wonder why I eat fish. Well, Jesus ate fish so I won't try to be holier than Him. Also, fish (no shellfish or catfish) is very good for one's health if it is properly prepared. And fish are not treated cruelly like the cattle, chickens, and pigs that are raised for massive consumption.

Meat can also be very good for one's health if properly raised and prepared. So can shellfish by the way. Fish may not be treated cruelly, but land animals don't need to be treated cruelly either. Again, this is not an argument of real import in terms of a vegetarian diet since one can easily switch to eating animals that are humanely raised.

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My Priest told me that according to Church Tradition Jesus did in fact eat meat other than fish.

Of course, all faithful Jews would have eaten meat at the Passover among other feasts.

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So I am aware that Orthodoxy does not compel one to be a vegetarian. These are my own personal opinions, and I think they in no way contradict Orthodox teaching. We must also remember that animals in Jesus' day were raised and slaughtered in a humane fashion. I don't think Our Lord would condone how these creatures are being unnecessarily brutalized today.

Again, this is not an argument to stop eating meat, only an argument to stop eating factory farmed meat. But more importantly, there is simply no argument available to an Orthodox Christian to advocate not eating meat per se. It just isn't a place we should go. The Tradition of the Church makes that clear over and over again.

Tobit
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